New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, November 5, 2008.
BB: We are onto Buffalo and in the division this week. As usual when you look at the Bills I think it starts with how good they are on special teams. Year in and year out they have been one of the best special teams units in the league and I think that continues to hold true. [They have] very explosive returners with [Leodis] McKelvin and [Roscoe] Parrish, good kickers, good specialists [and] good coverage teams. They are very sound and also explosive. They ran a fake punt last week against the Jets, had a big day returning punts against Seattle and we've seen - whether it was [Terrence] McGee, McKelvin or whoever - had plenty of success returning kicks too. So, that is a big point of emphasis for us this week as it always is but I think this is truly a team that can win a game on special teams and I don't know if we face that every week. Offensively, [they are a] real good explosive team with skill players Parrish, [Lee] Evans, [Marshawn] Lynch, [Fred] Jackson [and] got some plays out of the tight end [Robert] Royal [and wide receiver Josh] Reed. [Quarterback Trent] Edwards has done a nice job of getting the ball to the open receivers, [with a] high percentage of completions [he is] still hitting the big plays down the field particularly to Evans - as usual the top of the league in those. [Buffalo has a] real big offensive line, [they are] very physical similar to the Philadelphia group we saw in preseason or the Dallas group we saw last year - a lot of big men there of course headed by [Jason] Peters, one of the best tackles in football there is no question about that. Defensively they have made some additions. There are some new players, guys that we didn't see last year like [Paul] Posluszny and [Ko] Simpson who was on their team but didn't play because of injuries, picking up [Marcus] Stroud and [Kawika] Mitchell. So, they have added some players and have added some things to their scheme, some different blitz looks and pressures and things like that, that they have had a lot of success with through the first half of the season so we are definitely going to have to be ready for those. Buffalo is a good football team; they are good at a lot of things. They can run the ball, they can stop it, very good on third down - really they are at the top of the league in just about every defensive statistic there is - red area, third down. [Buffalo is] very good on first down offensively [and] getting ahead in the game. So there are a lot of things we have to work on and [we will] definitely start with the kicking game - that will be big for us this week.
Q: (On Buffalo's safety Donte Whitner)
BB: No, only at the end of the game last week. He started off the year playing strong safety with Ko Simpson playing weak safety and I think it was the San Diego game that they moved him to weak safety and brought in [Bryan] Scott and played him on [San Diego's tight end Antonio] Gates in some pass coverage situations. And last week against the Jets they went back to the way they did it with Whitner down and Ko Simpson back. But they have a three-safety grouping and Whitner plays corner in that situation. He also plays the nickel back in some of their five defensive back stuff where he plays in the slot kind of like a big nickel. Then he also has played the sixth defensive back position, kind of the linebacker position, in their dime defense where he covers the tight end and they use either Reggie Corner or Ashton Youboty as the nickel back. He has been a versatile player for them, deep part of the field, run force, blitzer, linebacker type responsibilities. He has shown a lot of versatility for them. He is a good player.
Q: Can you talk about resigning Jason Webster?
BB: Well, Jason has a good understanding of our system; he was with us all the way through the spring and training camp. So we will plug him in there. He gives us a little bit of depth in the secondary, corner, nickel back - so we will plug him in there and see how it goes.
Q: Is Terrence Wheatley's injury long term?
BB: Well, we will see how that looks.
Q: Jason Webster was injured during preseason, how much of not seeing him play was a factor in his release?
BB: Right. He really didn't play for us in any of the preseason games. He worked in the spring and then a few practices there in training camp. So, yeah that definitely affected it - there wasn't really a real game or preseason camp [or] practice to go on.
Q: Nick Kaczur returned to play last weekend, how was he as far as his conditioning?
BB: Good. I don't think conditioning was an issue. Nick, in the time he was off although he couldn't do much running, he could still do a lot of cardio stuff. He played the whole game. I don't think that was a problem. I think he played well, I don't think anyone played perfect but I thought he did a good job. It was a very challenging situation out there especially with [Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert] Mathis out there on the edge but I thought he did a pretty good job.
Q: You have seen the Bills so often and you have seen their development, has this development been there since Dick Jauron started as Head Coach?
BB: Yeah. I think Dick has done a real good job with the Bills. Last year they had a number of injuries. They had a lot of injuries on defense and ended up losing some guys on offense. I don't know what the total numbers were for them last year but they lost a lot of guys and they also had a very young team. They have a very young team now, Kansas City was probably a little bit younger in terms of a total team, but in terms of starters there are a number of positions like linebacker, quarterback obviously, where the Bills are very young. They are very talented. [They have] guys [that] only have a year or two experience and like I said, they lost a couple of those guys last year especially on the defensive side of the ball - they lost them early and that hurt them. It is hard to replace guys like that. But, I think it's a good team and it is a good young team and I am saying that relative to the guys that are playing a lot too. It's not like they have a bunch of guys that don't play that are rookies. Those guys like Lynch and Edwards - you can just go right down the line. They got [Derek] Fine in there the last couple of weeks - same thing in the secondary they have a lot of good young players. It's a good football team.
Q: Buffalo had four good drives against the New York Jets that resulted in little or no points, do you believe Buffalo is better than their 5-3 record shows?
BB: Oh sure. As we all know in this league a lot of games come down to possession, play, series and they are right there. They played Miami very competitively and the Jets. They are a good football team.
Q: You have a short week coming up next wee, does that change anything this week?
BB: Not really, no. This is a big game and one that we are going to put everything into and we will worry about next week, next week. At the end of the week we have people on our staff that prepare things for the following week regardless of who it is and what the time frame is. They take the previous games, which we can go up until last week's game and work on those. Everybody else is doing what they normally do, which is we work on Buffalo and when the Buffalo game is over we put that behind us and move onto the next game. We know it is a short week but right now that is not really a big concern of ours. We will deal with next week, next week.